The city of Oslo, Norway wants to cut its dependence on cars and shift its residents to a much cleaner means of transportation. The rise in air pollution has pushed the government's initiative to improve the quality of life for its residents by offering a $1200 credit towards the purchase of a new e-bike. This credit came into play on February 1st, 2017.
However, the credit cannot be applied to just any electric bicycle. In particular, Oslo wants its residents to use this credit towards the purchase of an electric cargo bike. That is because a cargo bike will allow people to haul groceries, bags, children, and other personal items that they would normally depend on a car for. The hope is to have a population of 618,000 depend far less on vehicles while not sacrificing utility.
Oslo has temporarily banned diesel vehicles and plans to ban vehicles from the city center by 2019. Other efforts include a pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030. Norway has set aside a budget of $1 Billion dollars for bike related infrastructure which will include the construction of new bike paths, bike lanes, more electric bikes, and to do away with unnecessary equipment like bike elevators.
The average cost of an electric bike in Norway costs between $2,500 - $6,400 giving residents the credit will allow them to save between 25% and 50% of the cost. However, the e bike credit is only available for up to 1,000 persons which won't necessarily make a huge impact on the region's air quality but is a great starting point for the nation to test out the impact within the city itself.